Pollie Watch: Petition to reclaim Waubra name hand delivered to Sen Madigan

MadiganSenator John Madigan is well-known for his anti-wind farm crusade. The Senator was lauded by the fringe website Stop These Things as a key speaker at an anti-wind farm rally that flopped in Canberra last June.

Earlier this week, Senator Madigan received a visit from representatives of the Waubra community who are calling on the anti-wind lobby group, the ‘Waubra’ Foundation, to give their town’s name back.

The real Waubra community hand delivered Senator Madigan a copy of the 300-strong petition supporting the case for reclaiming the name.

“We are pleased that the Senator listened to our plea and understood how strongly we feel about Waubra’s good name,” said Waubra resident Kerryn Gallagher. “We are passionate about our town and it hurts when this group drags our name through the mud.”

According to an account of the meeting at the Victorian Wind Alliance webpage, Senator Madigan has agreed to pass the petition on to the Foundation.

“Senator Madigan is in a unique position to let the directors of the Waubra Foundation know what’s it’s actually like here in Waubra and we hope he has a clearer picture after today’s meeting.”

In 2012, Senator Madigan, with the support of Senator Nick Xenophon, attempted to amend to the Renewable Energy Target legislation to tackle what he brands the “excessive noise” of wind farms.

It’s reasonable to suspect the title of the Madigan/Xenophon bill is hyperbolic. Kerryn Gallagher, who lives with 39 turbines within 3km of her house, confirms the suspicion: “Wind farm sound is just a part of our landscape now. It’s not excessive and it doesn’t bother us.”

Waubra residents. Picture courtesy of the Victorian Wind Alliance

As recently as this week, Senator Madigan has claimed the Waubra wind farm is not compliant with sound standards. While wind farmer Doug Hobson acknowledges compliance hasn’t been finalised, he doesn’t see that as a barrier for the Foundation dropping ‘Waubra’ from its title.

“The truth of the situation is that the vast majority of the Waubra community are living happily with the wind farm. We’ll continue to put the case to the foundation that the decent thing to do is to allow Waubra to have our name back,” concluded Mr Hobson.

For more on Waubra’s struggle to reclaim their name, visit the Victorian Wind Alliance. We also recommend reading this excellent article by Andy Bray explaining why the residents want their town name back. 

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